Heterogeneous Mixture Lesson for Kids: Definition & Examples

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  • 0:01 Definition
  • 0:52 Examples
  • 1:40 Types: Suspensions
  • 2:06 Types: Colloids
  • 2:40 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Michelle Vannoy
The purpose of this lesson is to define what a heterogeneous mixture is and show you how to identify one. We'll also list some relevant examples of heterogeneous mixtures.


Have you ever had Chex Mix? It's delicious fun to pick out all the rye chips and eat them first. Once the rye chips are gone, pick out the pretzels, then the cereal pieces until all that's left are the miniature breadsticks. If you don't like the breadsticks, you might throw them to your dog to eat!

Did you know that there's a word for mixtures like Chex Mix, something that's made up of different parts or substances? That word is heterogeneous, which comes from the Greek words heteros (other) and genos (kind). So, a heterogeneous mixture is a substance that can be easily separated into its parts, and those parts retain their original properties. A heterogeneous mixture is not blended together or the same consistency throughout. Those kinds of mixtures are called homogeneous.


There are many common and uncommon examples of heterogeneous mixtures. In fact, many of the foods we eat are heterogeneous mixtures, like:

  • Lucky Charms cereal
  • Trail mix
  • Mixed nuts
  • Fruit salad
  • Pizza
  • Chocolate chip cookies
  • Chicken noodle soup
  • Milk
  • Fizzy Drinks

There are many heterogeneous mixtures that are not foods as well:

  • Sand and water
  • Sea shells mixed in the sand at the beach
  • Oil and water
  • Smog (a mixture of dirty particles suspended in air)

There are many more mixtures that could be added to this list. Just remember that the key to a heterogeneous mixture is that it's not the same throughout and can be separated into its original parts.

Heterogeneous mixtures can be broken down into two main types, suspensions and colloids.

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